Heather’s magic, Sue’s problems

Heather gets up from her stool and smiles. The White Swan wants to get back into the pond.

She thinks: “I have truly missed this. Let’s give this girl more to chew on.”

Sue thinks: “You fight well, purplehead, but I didn’t beat 11 people by accident. This fight isn’t over.”


The referee gets out of the way and our contestants meet again in the centre of the ring. Sue starts more aggressively, smacking Heather with a fast jab on the forehead.

The Canadian changes the angle to avoid a right hand.

Heather thinks: “She wants to trade. I won’t let that happen.”

The swan circles and throws a right hook that hits a red glove. She fakes a follow-up left while stepping forward, but pulls the hand back. Sue takes a step back and throws a right uppercut, but Heather stops her advance and unleashes a right cross that flies through the now-open guard. A good punch that collides with the left cheek.

Heather Barker Sue Strong 8


Sylvie: “That’s it! I want pressure!”

Heather thinks: “She’s a big meatball. Gonna have to chop her finely before adding spices.”

The pale skinned beauty’s internal dialog leads her to one conclusion: take the body. She bends her knees a little more, gets close, slips under Sue’s punches and comes in with power shots. She whacks the ribs with a right hand when going under a jab. The American retreats, only to take a jab.

Sue fights backwards and throws a big right hand. It misses, and Heather goes under to deliver a left hook to the liver.

Tiger struggles to deal with the Montréaler’s advance. She sends a looping left hook flying, but Heather rotates her upper body while leaning to the left, thrusting a purple glove in Sue’s stomach. That makes her groan.

Heather Barker Sue Strong 9

Sue freezes and Heather springs forward with a right hook inside the missed punch, taking advantage of a massively open guard. Purple leather makes contact with the American’s jaw. Her knuckles whip the chin, producing a lashing sound that is clearly heard at ringside. PISH!

Heather Barker Sue Strong 10

Sylvie thinks: “What a hit! Not the biggest punch in the world, but the timing is ideal.”

The coach knows her boxing. Sue’s upper body swings back and she loses her footing. Her butt hits the canvas first, followed by the right arm.

The crowd cheers, but many at ringside aren’t totally satisfied.

“Get up and take more of this!”

“Come on, Heather! Hurt her some more!”

“Get her!”

Heather Barker Sue Strong 11

Referee Chantal Gagné gets close, and Heather is already on her way to the neutral corner.

Heather thinks: “Not giving her any time. Gotta capitalise quickly if she gets up.”

Sylvie thinks: “Anyone who watches this should take notes. Heather is showing them how it’s done.”

The ref bends to take a look at Sue, who pushes to start getting up.

Chantal: “One… two… three…”

Tiger is on her knees. She looks up and takes a breather as the count continues.

Chantal: “Four… five… six…”

Sue thinks: “A couple of more seconds, please.”

Chantal: “Seven…”

The visitor gets up.

Chantal: “Eight…”

Now, she raises her arms to show she’s not hurt.

Chantal: “Get ready to continue.”

Heather Barker Sue Strong 12

The ref steps aside and says: “Box!”

Weathering Heather

Heather darts forward, eager to find Sue at the end of her gloved fists. She lets her hands go, but her opponent uses her arms as a turtle shell to block the shots. Sue isolates herself and moves her upper body to hopefully weather the storm.

Heather Barker Sue Strong 13

Sue’s counterattacks are half-hearted. Heather doesn’t feel threatened, so she keeps charging. She lands a few body shots, but also hits shoulders, arms and gloves. Sue takes one accidentally in the back of the head as she moves forward to avoid a hook.

Just as the 10-second signal comes, the Canadian throws her Heathercut to try and make a dent in that defense. Sue remains in her shell, pulling away and letting Heather’s punch crash into her gloves.

Heather Barker Sue Strong 14

A frustrated swan pulls out of the exchange, refusing to use more energy.

Heather thinks: “Great. She doesn’t want to fight now.”

A few seconds later, the bell rings.

Heather grumbles as she walks back to her corner. She smelled a knockout, but couldn’t quite enjoy the taste of it. Sue is disappointed as well for falling behind. Nobody’s happy here.


In the red corner, Mark Ford greets her wife with reassuring body language. As soon as the mouthpiece is out, she looks down and says: “fuck”.

Mark: “Don’t despair. We’ve had difficult fights before. This isn’t the first difficult opponent.”

Sue: “Yeah, but she dropped me easily with that right hand.”

Mark: “That’s because you were exposed. You threw a looping left, she froze you with a body shot and nailed you with the right while you were still overextended. Anyone would have gone down with that timing.”

Sue: “I can do better than that.”

The coach puts his hand gently under her chin and raises her head.

Mark: “Look at me. You’ll beat this girl. She’s good, but you’re great. You’ve just been too wild with those looping punches. Throw quick, straight shots to stand your ground. She has to feel pain when she gets close. It will force her to respect you. Ok?”

Sue nods twice before opening up to receive water.

Heather Barker Sue Strong 15

“She’s overrated”

In the red corner, confidence is high.

Sylvie: “The scouts surely had that one right: Sue is overrated. A heavily protected fighter who probably hasn’t had a real challenge yet.”

Heather grins: “Until tonight. I honestly expected her to be tougher.”

Sylvie: “Yeah, but it’s a first-world problem. It’s fine to have a beatable opponent in a return fight. It will give you a win against an undefeated fighter. Not bad to have on record. Now, I want you to take care of business. Stop rushing to attack. Switch to the counter. Let her come to you with those sloppy punches and aim to connect when she opens up. If you feel that you hurt her, go for the finish. There’s no need to let this kind of fighter hang around hoping for the lucky punch.”

Heather: “Yes boss.”

Sylvie puts vaseline on the White Swan’s face, gives her a little water and puts the white mouthpiece in her mouth.

Heather Barker Sue Strong 16

Chantal: “Seconds out!”

Heather Barker
Heather Barker
A former Canadian Featherweight champ, Heather Barker is a religious, caring and ambitious woman based in Montreal.